Use of recombinant factor VIIa in massivepost-partumhaemorrhage

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Background and objective:

Massive post-partum haemorrhage continues to be one of the world's leading causes of maternal morbidity and mortality. Any new treatment that potentially helps at risk parturients should be thoroughly investigated. Recombinant factor VIIa (rVIIa) is increasingly being used in the treatment of massive haemorrhage. We performed a case-matched analysis of its use since 2003 in the treatment of massive post-partum haemorrhage at our hospital.


Twenty-eight cases of massive post-partum haemorrhage were identified over a 3-yr period since 2003. In six of these cases, rVIIa was used as part of their management. Six case-matched controls were sought. The six women with the greatest requirement for packed red cell transfusion who also had a deranged prothrombin time were included. The groups were then compared for differences. The worst prothrombin time in each group was noted as was the best prothrombin time within 6 h, this was used as our measure of response to treatment.


There was no statistical difference in age, gestation, parity, transfusion requirements, mode of delivery or the severity of the coagulopathy between the two groups. In both groups the prothrombin time improved with management. There was no significant difference in either the magnitude of the improvement in the value of the prothrombin time or the absolute value of the best prothrombin time (P = 0.09). Five out of the six women in the rFVIIa group had normal or low prothrombin times within 6 h yet only one woman who did not receive rFVIIa had a normal prothrombin time within 6 h though this was not significant (P = 0.08).


This case-matched analysis supports the management of massive post-partum haemorrhage with appropriate resuscitation, surgical intervention and use of blood and blood products. This study does not support the routine use of rFVIIa in the management of massive obstetric haemorrhage. rFVIIa may have a role to play in this management but further studies and analyses will be required.

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